Phillies at the All Star Break --
A Look Back to 1976
7/18/2008 1:48 PM
Byline: Mike Cunningham
32 years ago, the All Star game was in Philadelphia. The All Stars invaded the 6 year old vet. And the fetus of the Phillies only World Championship was growing in the old concrete womb.
32 years ago, the All Star game was in Philadelphia. Veterans Stadium was just 6 years old. Philadelphia was having a huge Bicentennial celebration. America was 200 years old, and American and National League All-Stars invaded Veterans Stadium.
In 1976, the Phillies were on their way to their first NL East Division crown. Healing some wounds from 12 years earlier. After 81 games, back then I guess the All Star Game was REALLY at the exact halfway point in the season, the Phillies were 56-25, on their way to winning 101 games. They were 10.0 games up on the Pittsburgh Pirates. And were 5.5 games up on the Cincinnati Reds. They were the class of the league.
Making this All-Star team for the Phillies were Mike Schmidt, Greg "Bull" Luzinski who started in LF, Larry Bowa and Bob Boone, all members of the 1980 World Champion Phillies. This year the Phillies had only 2 all-stars. In '76 they had 5, including Dave Cash who left after that season for Montreal in free agency.
But they were still young and missing some pieces. And if you look at the picture in depth, you see some of the missing pieces. Some key pieces to that 1980 team! There's Dick Ruthven, who was now an Atlanta Brave. He was traded by the Phillies to the White Sox who sent him to the Braves. 2 years later, he would be back in a Phillies uniform traded for Gene Garber.
Look at the upper right corner of the picture. It's the original Shake and Bake. Bake Mcbride. He would be traded to the Phillies the next year for wunderkind Tom Underwood.
And of course, most importantly, there is Charlie Hustle himself. Pete Rose. Right there in the front view. The National League won that All-Star game 7-1. The National League often won the all star games back then.
The Phillies would be eventually swept by the Reds in the LCS. Joe Morgan and Tony Perez fixtures in the 1983 National League title run, were also on this team. (Another future Phillie Al Oliver is on this all star team.) So you can kind of see, how the evolution of that 1980 championship team had its beginnings right there at the Vet at the all star game
Phils tied with Mets as the 2nd half begins
The Phillies are about to begin the second half which is only 66 games long, with the Mets and Marlins on their heels. They play 3 with Marlins this weekend and then face the Muts next week. 6 games, all on the road. While the Phillies are one of the few teams with a winning record on the road, they have been on a tailspin lately.
The Mets have made up 5.5 games on the Phils. As the Phils have seemed to just tread water over the last 10 games. They hope to right the ship with new acquisition Joe Blanton, who I dropped from my fantasy team in the same week I dropped Brett Myers. That probably tells you all you need to know right? He's probably an upgrade over Adam Eaton. And hopefully the new Brett Myers will be an upgrade over the old one. Whether he returns to the bullpen or the rotation is still to be determined.
Beerleaguer.com has been following this acquisition and there is a lot of gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. Especially now that Mets trolls have infiltrated the Best Phillies Blog out there. The Phillies were 1 for the last 12 Myers starts. Had they just won half of them, they would be five games over the rest of the division. If we dont' win the division, you can place all the blame on Brett Myers. The Phillies are trying to right the ship. Whether it will be enough, we'll have to see.
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